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Good Mic Technique for Singers

June 9, 2023

Update 6/17/2024

Hi I’m Abram with 30 Day Singer and this lesson is all about proper mic technique for beginning singers.

At some point as a singer you will probably sing with a microphone either on a stand or held in your hand.

This is usually what's called a dynamic microphone.

Condenser mics pick up a larger area and so there is generally less technique required.

In this vocal lesson we'll go over the rules of mic technique.

Rule # 1: Hand Hold Horizontally

Never hold the mic vertically like an ice cream cone.

If you sing like this, then your voice travels over the mic and across the grille.

This position will barely pick up the sound in a clear way.

Instead hold it horizontal with the cone facing your mouth.

You are also going to want to make sure your mouth is about 1 or 2 fists away from the head of the microphone. 

There is a classic look of tilting the head all the way up and singing.

Generally this is poor singing technique all around and should be avoided.

We do have some range of motion here for some stylized belting, but usually it happens more as a habit.

Also, if your mic is in a stand, don’t reach putting your head and neck out of alignment.

Instead, adjust or have the stage manager or audio engineer adjust the microphone so it is level with your mouth and your comfortable posture.

Rule #2: Sing Normally

When singing with amplification it's really easy to under support as the microphone is doing a lot of this work for you.

What ends up happening is that we can get into the habit of straining when reaching for high notes for that reason.

Appropriate breath support doesn't necessarily mean a louder sound.

The best thing to do is make sure that you have proper levels with how loud your voice is and how much the mic is picking you up.

We can hear this best through a monitor which is any device that is playing what the mic is picking up from your voice back to you.

Being able to hear this clearly is very important so ask about it and make sure your engineer changes the levels to what works best for you. 

If your mic is “hot” we mean it’s picking up a lot, maybe too much of the sound coming into it.

This can be mouth sounds and other things we don’t want to have in the sound, which can make us overly careful or tense.

The other side is a mic that isn’t picking up enough sound to properly level you with other instruments or reach the number of people required for your venue.

Don’t strain or shout to be heard. Instead, the engineer can adjust this to find the right volume where you are singing normally.

Learn how to sing with 30 Day Singer's renown online singing lesson program.

Rule #3: Mixing by Proximity

This is where you can add some extra technique that we can practice together.

When singing soft and intimately we can bring the mic close to our mouth.

If you bring it too close then it will distort the sound.

On the other hand, if you are about to sing a belting song you can pull the mic away to control the sound a bit in the moment.

This should be secondary to Rule #1, meaning we use Rule #2 as a way to more subtly adjust the sound of our voice. 

Mic Exercises

Let's practice this with a singing exercise for beginners.

The first part will be soft and mellow.

Singing with the mic closer like this will help pick up details like vocal fry and subtle inflections.

The second part will be loud and big.

Singing with the mic farther away like this will make sure you don’t max out the speaker or hurt anybody's ears too much.

It will also help you make a more comfortable fully supported sound.

Watch the video at the top of the page for specific mic exercises for dialing in your singing technique.


What is the best mic technique for vocals?

The best mic technique for vocals involves keeping a consistent distance from the mic, usually about 6-12 inches away, and maintaining a steady volume and angle to avoid sudden changes in sound quality.

How to sing into a mic properly?

To sing into a mic properly, aim the mic at your mouth, stay a consistent distance away, and avoid breathing directly into it to minimize unwanted noise.

How can I make my mic sound better for singing?

You can make your mic sound better by using a pop filter to reduce plosive sounds, adjusting the gain settings properly, and ensuring your recording environment is quiet and free from echo.

What are the 4 vocal techniques?

The four vocal techniques are breath control, proper posture, resonance, and articulation, each essential for producing a clear and powerful singing voice.

How to improve your voice when singing?

Improve your voice by practicing regularly, doing vocal warm-ups, staying hydrated, and working with a vocal coach to refine your technique.

What is the best singing technique?

The best singing technique involves using proper breath support, maintaining good posture, and practicing regularly to build strength and flexibility in your vocal cords.

How to not sing from your throat?

To avoid singing from your throat, focus on using your diaphragm for breath support and try to project your voice from your chest or head, rather than straining your throat muscles.

How to make voice clear and soft?

Make your voice clear and soft by staying hydrated, avoiding strain, practicing good breath control, and doing exercises to relax and strengthen your vocal cords.

What is the secret to good singing?

The secret to good singing is consistent practice, proper technique, and taking care of your vocal health through hydration, rest, and avoiding strain.

How to hit a high note?

To hit a high note, use proper breath support, relax your throat, and modify your vowel sounds slightly to make the note easier to reach without straining.

How can I sing if my voice is not good?

If you feel your voice isn’t great, focus on regular practice, take vocal lessons to improve your technique, and remember that confidence and emotion can enhance your performance.

Is there a trick to singing?

The trick to singing is finding the right balance between technique and emotion, ensuring you practice regularly and take care of your vocal health to keep improving.

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